Explore To-hike - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

To-hike Map

Great hike. We were headed to campers flat for an over night. We did encounter a mountain lion in the rock field before the creek prior to Middle Velma. We did see a ranger the next day on the way out and he confirmed that there was one in the area. It was a great weekend and recommend this to anyone. Bring water and/or water filter. If your in good condition this is a fun hike if not you may have a time of it. Remember - enjoy the journey.

If you’re looking to discover new lakes, these are underwhelming. Cathedral is a snowmelt pond with no in or outflowing streams. Dead water. But the trail itself is fine, with nice views of Fallen Leaf along a ridge for about a half mile. If you have dogs this is a great trail - we saw many, including several off leash ... pretty clear that rule isnt enforced. We passed a poor woman lost two small dogs that bolted.

This is an Absolutely gorgeous hike. Fun scrambling up and down. It was very quiet and peaceful at Ropi lake.

Last weekend (7/7-7/8) backpacked from the Bayview Trailhead to Middle Velma for the night. Great hike! Definitely a steep incline going up, but beautiful views and flowers along the way. Be sure to stop at the lookout halfway up the initial incline for a stunning view of Emerald Bay. We took a detour to Dick’s Lake (not on this map), then continued on to Middle Velma to camp. Once we got to Middle Velma, we had a beautiful view, great swimming, and a warm evening. Bugs didn’t come out until sunset. Beautiful hike back down— recommend poles. Definitely a great weekend trip!

Great hike we have older children they loved it beautiful views

10 days ago

Pretty lake, secluded. Tougher hike than I expected. Map shows it as 5.5 from Glen Alpine but it felt more like 7. Could just be my lack of conditioning backpacking though. Wildflowers were outstanding. Loose rock on parts of trail were tough on feet.

Have done this hike about a dozen times. Found it easiest to stay closer to the falls when scrambling up to Avalanche Lake. Look for the heavy brush area once you're at the top of the main fall and remember that trail that goes through it on your way back! I see a lot of people miss it and stick too close the water, hit a dead end and have to hike back up. Personal opinion is don't bring a dog if you're going this route up to the lakes.

12 days ago

Ralston is without a doubt one of my favorite trails around Tahoe, at least for summit views. The trek up is pretty straight forward starting as a dirt hike across moderate switchbacks before kicking up to a more aggressive mix of loose rock and more dirt as you leave the treeline. Given the consistent exposure and fairly steep upper section, be sure to bring plenty of water (see many people hiking this as if it's a couple city-miles rather than mountain ones.) For the effort, the view up top is all the reviews say and then some with so many lakes, peaks and forest lands to take in at once.

Conditions as of this post: All dirt, no major obstacles, fairly easy to follow the trail though do pay attention on the upper sections as the path can fade out over the boulders. Bring extra water, good shoes for the steeper climb, layers for the exposed summit.

beautiful hike. little challenging but well worth it.

Beautiful hike along cold creek that finishes in a wide open meadow with a winding river running through it. Better trail than Van Sickle but not as good views of Tahoe.

I came from the PCT heading north to Bayview Trail just past Upper Velma Lake... I assumed It was going to be an easy way to get back to a Parking area where I could take the Trolley back into town. I was completely Wrong!! The scenery is absolutely beautiful, so i hope this review helps.. I thought the trail would be well marked and a bit easier than it was... Once I began to take the trail I couldn't believe how hard it was to follow. After a long day of hiking this was away more challenging exit point than I wanted. I lost the trail a few times and then luckily picked it up again. My phone GPS didn't work here. Thank goodness I had my poles to cross the river. I assumed all of this trail would be clearly marked aka a more Tahoe family friendly route. I left the bayview trail to Eagle Lake trail where there is a posted sign, but if I had wanted to follow the bayview trail all the way down...I am not sure were I would of even gone at that point. Make sure you have a good understanding of the trail before you leave your start point. Happy Hiking!

18 days ago

Great Lake to stay at before heading up to Mt Tallac. Beautiful lake, we went on a busy weekend and still didn’t see too many people. You can get a good campsite off the trail.

18 days ago

Saw 0 people. Amazing views all around. The right half is all meadow and left in granite and trees- left is your best bet for backpacking. All facing a beautiful waterfall. The hike is very easy after the Gilmore lake split.

Left Bayview trailhead at 12pm on Friday in late June and got to Dicks lake at 3:30pm. I found a quiet spot around the lake and set up camp for the night. It was perfect weather, water was chilly but swimmable and the mosquitos were in full force! The hike was fairly easy, the first climb is taxing but not bad at all! I highly recommend this hike!!

on Ralston Peak Trail

20 days ago

An excellent trail with great rewards. We took off at 7:30am which was perfect. You start by working your way through the trees and meadows which isn’t too hard. The next stretch is the hardest as you wind through a part of the trail with lots of rocks and loose dirt. The final climb is steep but the ground is solid so it’s easy to keep your footing. The last 1/10 of a mile you need to maneuver over lots of rocks but just take your time. Great views of Echo Lakes, Lake of the Woods, Aloha, Lake, Fallen Leaf and Tahoe. Took us about three hours with a few breaks to enjoy the views.

Super pretty hike the whole way through! First mile or so is all incline but it’s a relatively smooth trail for a while. Great views!

23 days ago

If you’re looking for a difficult hike with lots of climbing, this trail is it. This trail was all uphill right from the beginning and gets even more steep when you get to the top, but it was definitely worth it for the need view of the beautiful blue lakes. There were a lot of bugs everywhere, and even more bugs up at the top, so make sure you bring bug spray!

Hiked up Friday morning, June 22nd. Traveling up the falls is pretty strenuous as with a steep elevation gains, and the trail is essentially nonexistent toward the top of the falls. Pick a route not too close to the falls and not too far west. There are quite a few stacked rocks to guide you up.

Once at the top, passing Avalanche and Pitt Lakes to Ropi is scenic and smooth. Landed several brown trout on Ropi's south side. Great hike.

25 days ago

I thought this trail was difficult due to steepness, but so worth the views at the peak! First 1.5 miles isn't bad but when you get to the fork and turn right, you're looking at a steep climb. Bring poles! They saved us. At the peak, we saw at least 9 lakes. Gorgeous. Great mix of sun and shade throughout the trail. Bring more water than you think you'll need!

26 days ago

Good work out with payoff of excellent views at the top!
It has a fair amount of sun exposure so bring lots of water and sun screen.

Thigh burner strenous steep hiking. Amazing view from peak

Amazing views from the peak. The trail to the peaks is left, off the trail that goes down into Desolation. Just follow the stacked rocks. Snow basically gone for the season. Excellent place to have your lunch or just look down into Cascade,Fallen Leaf and Tahoe. Also a great view of Tallac. Trailhead parking goes fast so get there early.

1 month ago

Perfect day hike. Trail completely open from trailhead to summit now. Wildflowers everywhere especially near summit. Creek is still full and flowing.

Desolation Wilderness is perfection right now, get out there.

Great hike. There is still some snow, but nothing too difficult to cross or very long. There are 2 larger creek crossings in the upper loop that are not too difficult but require some caution. On one crossing we needed to remove our shoes/socks to avoid getting wet, but it was still easy to cross and not dangerous. This is a beautiful area and well worth the effort. Poles will help with the snow and creek crossings.

No snow. beautiful hike.

Really fun hike! Trail is well marked and easy to follow. There are lots of wildflowers along the trail, not as many in the actual meadow. Easy to complete in a few hours. I would definitely do this hike again.

Great hike with amazing views at the end. Last push to the top was a little tricky due to snow, but just went straight up. Grade is gradual to the end so quite doable.

snow is all gone did this trail 3 weeks ago an you had 40 minutes of snow to go though as of 6 /2 less tha two minutes to go through great hike so awesome on top great views

Awesome hike! Still quite a bit of snow to cross up at Upper Velma and Dicks. Still fairly stable snow, but you will fall through up to your waist in places.

1 month ago

Definitely a rock scramble after the waterfall, but views are worth it.

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